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Tracking the origens of Brazilian Portuguese: the dynamics of change in the writing of Good Men in Colonial Bahia

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Williane Silva Corôa
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Campinas, SP.
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Charlotte Galves; Emilio Gozze Pagotto; Maria Clara Paixão de Sousa; Aroldo Leal de Andrade; Marco Antonio Martins
Advisor: Charlotte Galves

In this dissertation, I study the evolution of Portuguese syntax in Brazil, starting from an unexplored Corpus of Letters and Minutes written by Good Men of the City Council of Salvador, born between 1580 and 1725. The objective is to verify if the change that occurred in Portugal in the 18th century (GALVES et al., 2005, GALVES; PAIXÃO DE SOUSA, 2017) has an effect on Portuguese in Brazil, or if, on the other hand, Brazilian Portuguese already started its own path of change in that period. The corpus of analysis was annotated morphologically and syntactically, following the norms of the Tycho Brahe Parsed Corpus of Historical Portuguese (UNICAMP), inaugurating its Brazilian facet: Tycho Brahe-Brasil. The total number of words analyzed is 308,649. The phenomena chosen for the analysis are interconnected in the syntax of the language: subject position (V2 effect), clitic placement, null subjects, and null objects. The theoretical framework adopted is Generative Grammar, Minimalist Program (CHOMSKY, 1995, among others), with discussions on the V2 effect in ancient Romance languages (BENINCÀ, 1983-4; 1995; 2004; 2006; 2013; RIBEIRO, 1995; WOLFE, 2016; 2018; 2019) and in Classical Portuguese (TORRES MORAES, 1995; PAIXÃO DE SOUSA, 2004; GIBRAIL, 2010; ANTONELLI, 2011) and their related properties: clitic placement (GALVES; BRITTO; PAIXÃO DE SOUSA) , 2005), null subjects and null objects (HOLMBERG; ROBERTS, 2010; BARBOSA, 2019; RAPOSO, 1986; 1998; GALVES, 1989; CYRINO, 1997; 2000; 2003). Regarding diachrony, the theoretical framework used will be Lightfoot (1999; 2006), Roberts (2007) and Kroch (1989; 1994; 2001), through the notion of grammar competition. The results indicate a grammar very close to the grammar of Classical Portuguese among Brazilians born in the 17th century: a flexible V2 grammar, with a consistent null subject, and strongly proclitic, in which the use of the null object is not observed. The differences found in relation to the pattern of Classical Portuguese are the occurrence of proclisis in V1 sentences and a higher percentage of proclisis in sentences in which there is a fronted dependent clause. Among Brazilians born in the 18th century, there are significant changes, such as the loss of the V2 effect, the generalization of proclisis and the embryonic occurrence of null objects, as in contemporary Brazilian Portuguese: with a referential reading. The findings of this dissertation indicate that the grammar of Brazilian Portuguese emerges at the turn of the 18th century (AU)

FAPESP's process: 17/16581-3 - Word order syntax in the corpus of letters and acts produced by good men from the Municipal Chamber of Salvador
Grantee:Williane Silva Coroa
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate